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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498

Date: July 10, 2012


The Office of the Surgeon General, Division of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) have awarded the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) with the 2012 Special Project Award for States in the amount of $10,000. The Special Project Award from NACCHO is an annual competitive grant for special projects for the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) within a particular state. The grant helps build the public health infrastructure of communities nationwide.

"The Delaware Medical Reserve Corps (DMRC) was chosen for this award because of the ability to show that these funds would have a measurable impact on the state," said Steve Blessing, chief of DPH Emergency Medical Services and Preparedness Section. "This includes our potential to realize cost savings in the health aspects of shelter response."

DMRC is a community-based volunteer corp of medical and healthcare professionals and other community members who give their time and expertise to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies in Delaware.

DMRC staff and volunteers are organized and trained to address a wide range of challenges from public health education to disaster response. DMRC supplements existing medical and public health staff for prevention of and response to a public health emergency or disaster event.

The 2012 Special Project award will enable DMRC to:

The new ADA requirements indicate that no one should be denied access to a shelter, and that shelters in Delaware should be able to care for the totality of the general population in the same way that they are cared for at home. A person with a medical need that can be treated at home (oxygen dependent, assistance with medication, bandage changing, etc.) may in the future be treated in the general population shelter, rather than a special needs or medical needs shelter.

In addition to the DMRC's special project award, the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD) awarded DPH a grant for $20,000 to support the recruitment, training, and management of volunteers to respond in radiological emergencies in Delaware. These volunteers will be recruited as part of the Delaware Medical Reserve Corps. CRCPD is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that encourages and promotes cooperative enforcement programs with federal agencies and between related enforcement agencies within each state.

There were 10 CRCPD awards, not to exceed $25,000, available to state radiation control programs, health department preparedness programs or local non-government organizations partnering with radiation control and public health programs. The goal of these awards is to incorporate volunteer radiation professionals into existing health volunteer response programs.

For more information on volunteer opportunities, training or registration with DMRC, contact Donzella Johnson at 302-223-1720.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.